Major US companies reporting climate change strategies, says CDP

Findings of Carbon Disclosure Project’s S&P 500 report

A majority of major US companies have now recognised the strategic advantage of addressing climate change, according to the investor-led Carbon Disclosure Project.
For the first time since its inception, CDP has found that a majority of the companies on the S&P 500 which disclose are now integrating climate change into core business strategy.
The CDP, in its new S&P 500 report, cited increasing investor pressure, uncertain fuel prices, extreme weather events, recognition of new revenue and product opportunities as drivers of behaviour.
The CDP, which represents 551 investor signatories with combined assets of $71trn (€51.9trn), analysed disclosures from 339 of the largest US corporations.

“Climate change has become an operational, fiscal, and strategic imperative for the S&P 500 companies, resulting in greater senior executive attention and focus,” the report says. More firms see that sustainability offers “first-mover” advantages, such as lower costs, improved brand image, and greater market responsiveness.The number of companies reporting climate change policies as an integral part of corporate business strategy has almost doubled – up from 35% last year to 65% now.
Some 64% of respondents are setting greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, up from 51% in 2010 and 32% in 2008.

Climate change: an ‘‘operational, fiscal, and strategic imperative”

“Companies that measure their carbon emission exposure are better positioned to respond to changing regulatory requirements and to take advantage of efficiency opportunities that can increase shareholder value,” said Jack Ehnes, CEO of the $146.6bn California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).
The largest non-responders to the survey this year include Apple, and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.